U.S. May Build Execution Chamber at Gitmo

Yesterday, we noted that the U.S. will be seeking to execute six detainees at Guantanamo. Today, the AP reports that those executions may take place at Guantanamo, thanks to a 2006 Military Order (available here. (pdf)

Any executions would probably add to international outrage over Guantanamo, since capital punishment is banned in 130 countries, including the 27-nation European Union.

Conducting the executions on U.S. soil could open the way for the detainees' lawyers to go to U.S. courts to fight the death sentences. But the updated regulations make it possible for the executions to be carried out at Guantanamo.

That, of course, is what the Bush Administration wants: No oversight. As former Navy lawyer David Sheldon says, [More...]

"I think that's the administration's idea, to try to use Guantanamo as a base to not be under the umbrella of the federal district courts," he said. "If one is detained in North Carolina or South Carolina in a Navy brig, one could conceivably file a petition of habeus corpus and because of where they're located, invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court."

Other signs the Administration may be planning executions at Gitmo: It's built a Muslim burial site.

A Muslim section of the cemetery at Guantanamo has been dedicated by an Islamic cultural adviser, said Bruce Lloyd, spokesman for the Guantanamo Naval Station. Among those buried elsewhere at the cemetery are U.S. servicemen.

Until the 2006 regulation, military executions had to take place at Fort Leavenworth, KS.

But in January 2006, the Army changed its procedures for military executions, allowing "other locations" to be used. The new regulations say that only the president can approve an execution and that the secretary of the Army will authorize the location.

Bush already is trying to sell the executions of Gitmo detainees overseas:

The Bush administration has instructed U.S. diplomats abroad to defend its decision to seek the death penalty for the six men by recalling the executions of Nazi war criminals after World War II. A four-page cable sent to U.S. embassies and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press says that execution as punishment for extreme violations of the laws of war is internationally accepted.

The cable points to the 1945-46 Nuremberg war crimes trials in Germany. Twelve of Adolf Hitler's senior aides were sentenced to death at the trials, though not all were executed in the end.

To find someone to agree with Bush's policy decision, the AP drudged up Cully Stimson, (Remember him ? He's the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs who caused a national outcry and ended up resigning after he made reprehensible comments about the lawyers defending the Gitmo detainees.)

"If these guys are found guilty, I can't think of any other case more appropriate for the death penalty," said Charles "Cully" Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "An overwhelming majority of Americans support the death penalty."

That's the best the AP could do? Very telling.

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    Dubya (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by tek on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:47:55 PM EST
    has to execute these people before the election. He knows the Democrats will not do it and he just loves killing people.

    Didn't he (none / 0) (#8)
    by Firefly4625 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:59:02 PM EST
    set the record for killing people in Texas?

    I guess everybody's gotta be THE BEST at something!


    Oh man (none / 0) (#2)
    by andrewwm on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 04:45:15 PM EST
    Jan 20th 2009 can't come fast enough. Hopefully somebody manages to draw this out until then.

    There was a poll (none / 0) (#3)
    by Firefly4625 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    on CNN's website about this the other day - when I looked at it last, 75% were IN FAVOR!

    Now, either the poll got freeped or this is a nation full of sickos, imo.

    I wonder how our (none / 0) (#5)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    Nation has gotten so side tracked away from justice for all? OHHH... must be "W".

    Those poll numbers are awful. They already have them guilty!


    Sad (none / 0) (#6)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:39:20 PM EST
     The really sad thing is that even you are in favor of the Death Penalty it in a likelihood could have been achieved without torture and through the federal court system (I don't know why opponents of Tribunals have failed to use the example of Mcveigh to show that justice can be achieved without re-writing the laws)-- If you're going to use a tribunal you think you'd at least want to utilize an open system ala' Nuremburg (which again resulted in executions if people are so eager to have them) in order to avoid, or at least mitigate, the appearance of bias and the obvious matyrdom crap that's going to occur now.

    "federal court system" (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:48:12 PM EST
    You can't execute ANYONE in US courts outside Texas in anything less than twenty years.
    The Democrats are welcome to run on the platform of not executing these guys and throwing out all "tainted" evidence while looking for eyewitnesses who aren't too scared to testify and jurors who want to be under death threats from Al Qaida.
    These cases are the reason for military tribunals.

    Um, this is patently untrue (none / 0) (#12)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:50:34 PM EST
    As I referenced above, please see the example of Timothy Mcveigh, now maybe my math is off but considering he was executed early in Bush's first term, and that the OKC bombing was in 1995, I think your 20 year estimate might be a bit off.

    These people are not US (1.00 / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:19:41 PM EST
    citizens. Why do you think they should be afforded the rights of one?

    The rights are based (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 12:46:40 PM EST
    on the idea of adhereing to and upholding certain standards of decency and humanity, not as some kind of national party favorite for gin-yoo-ine citizens.

    Of course, you're probobly in favor of waterboarding illegals too.


    Then you are ready to go to war (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 05:20:24 PM EST
    with any country who violates those standards.

    Great! Let's do Iran tomorrow, N Korea Friday...
    and we can pick any number of African countries for next week over the weekend....

    As for intercultural sojourners, nope. Just a sure and rapid transport back to the countries they come from.


    Landmine (none / 0) (#4)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:35:31 PM EST
     This is yet another landmine set up by Bush, seriously he's basically going to make so the incoming President either accepts "evidence" obtained through torture or he/she lets a mass murder go unscathed. Its going to be especially effective against Obama (given that he was endorsed by the Gitmo Defense Counsels collectively-- due to his work on Habeas restoration in the Senate).

    I don't know where I heard this (none / 0) (#9)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:14:54 PM EST
    but I will repeat it.  It wouldn't surprise me if Bush and Cheney, McCain and his Veep personally executed these guys at the Republican national convention as the balloons, confetti and streamers fell.  You know, passing the torch to the new generation of deciders.  

    And what lawyer or diplomat in his right mind would advocate for Bush's policy?  Is Bush really going to invoke international law regarding war crimes to justify his kangaroo court prosecutions and ham-handed hangings?  Wow.  

    Uh, no one has been tried (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 05:21:51 PM EST
    much less hung.

    But don't let me giving you some facts stop your party.